Virat Kohli said India were determined to come up with a spirited effort in the ODI series finale in Canberra against Australia and the skipper was elated, saying the team did show a lot of “heart and desire” during their 13-run win on Wednesday.
India avoided a 3-0 clean sweep in the ODI series by winning the 3rd ODI by 13 runs at the Manuka Oval. Helped by Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja’s record-breaking 150-run stand and a much-improved bowling show, India managed to clinch an inconsequential yet important win as they can take the confidence into the T20I and Test series.
Virat Kohli pointed out that India played with a lot more intensity and it’s an important lesson, saying they need to be switched on from the word go when playing in demanding conditions in Australia.
“Even though we lost the series, I think this third game was important for us as a side to understand that we should play with heart and play with desire and then good things follow. This is a lesson we should take forward especially when things can be very intense if you are not on the ball and I have experienced that a few times before,” Virat Kohli said.
Virat Kohli led from the front with the bat after a disappointing start to the innings in Canberra as Shikhar Dhawan threw it away as early as the 6th over. Young Shubman Gill showed flashes of brilliance but he failed to convert his start into a big innings.
Kohli though kept the scoreboard moving with a fine display of stroke-making during which he also broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the fastest batsman to 12,000 ODI runs. After losing partners at regular intervals, Kohli himself departed in the 32nd over for 63.
Just when it looked like India would struggle to get to 250-260, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya paced their partnership to perfection. The duo went hammer and tongs in the last few overs as India finished with a par total of 302.
Hardik Pandya showcased once again he could be a pure batsman at No. 6 as he hit the 2nd ninety of the series while Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a 50-ball 66 not out.
Kohli heaped rich praise on the duo, saying it provided the much-needed boost to the score after his wicket.
“I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but we had a great partnership between Hardik and Jadeja. It was exactly what the team needed to get that boost,” Kohli said.
“It’s particularly pleasing that we were under the pump for the first half of our innings, and second half of Australia’s, and we fought back both times.”
India will look to seal an early lead when they return to Canberra on Friday for the T20I series opener.